In praise of Panny's 2.8 zooms

Started Jul 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Abrak
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In praise of Panny's 2.8 zooms
Jul 30, 2013

When Panasonic released the 12-35 2.8 and 35-100 2.8 zooms last year, I seem to remember that a lot of people were underwhelmed.

There was quite a lot of talk about them being 'not that sharp', 'vulnerable to C/A' and above all 'very expensive'.

Since then....

1) I think the general perception of the quality of both zooms has increased - certainly you dont hear of users complaining about them being 'not sharp'. And the tests shows that the 12-35 pretty much matches the primes and the 35-100 falls only a little way back from some very sharp primes.

2) The 35-100 2.8 is quite a marvel of engineering. It is incredibly small with internal focus weighing 360g. None of the other APS-C mirrorless systems have come up with anything comparable - Fuji's 55-200 is 580g and the Sigma DLSR APS-C 50-150 2.8 1.4kg. So it really doesnt look like they can match it in the future.

3) The price of both lenses have come down by almost US$400 each - you can pretty much get the 12-35 for US$900 and 35-100 for US$1100 now. At that price they are pretty reasonable value it seems to me - a bit cheaper than 12/2, 17/1.8, 25/1.4, 45 1.8, 75 1.8 and taking up the same amount of room in your bag.

4) Amongst people I know they have very much opened up the system. I have several friends who are what you might call family photographers. They appreciate good shots out of a camera and want a good camera. They dont really like changing lenses much nor do they wish to be seen with a very large camera that would sort of imply they were a far more serious photog then they actually are. One was looking at a Canon plus an 18-135, a friend yesterday said he was thinking of getting a Leica Vario. They both ended up with an OMD plus 12-35 and 35-100 and they are unlikely to ever buy another lens. It does represent a very high quality compact system with a 35mm range from 24-200mm.

A year ago I was very much a prime user. I still have the 25/45/75 but I am really surprised by how much I like and use these zooms.

Somehow I think they still remain under-appreciated by a lot of M43 users (especially the 35-100 2.8)

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